They will be very wet when it rains. At present they
are as dry as dust. Very few rats. Company H.Q. is
in a steel hut which would just stop a whizz-bang.
Duclos seems a fine chap. He was very friendly last
night, and we sat and jawed about old battles and
cursed the politicians and the people with cushy jobs
—all the usual dug-out talk. And I went to sleep at
stand-to (2.30) and woke with the usual trench
Odd that I should find myself back h<?rc, only a
mile or two away from where I was wounded (and
the Front Line a mile or two farther back after 14
I have returned into the past, but none of my old
friends are here. I am looking across to the ridge
where Ormand and Dunning and all those others
were killed. Nothing can bring them back; and I
come blundering into it all again to guffaw with a
Canadian captain. The old crowd are gone; but
young "StifTy" and Howitt are just as good.
Expect Til see more than enough of this sector, so I
won't describe it in detail. The landscape is the deadly
conventional Armageddon type. Low green-grey
ridges fringed with a few isolated trees, half smashed;
a broken wall here and there—straggling dull-grey
silhouettes which were once French villages. Then
there are open spaces broken only by ruined wire-
tangles, old trenches, and the dismal remains of an
occasional rest camp of huts. The June grass waves,
poppies flame, shrapnel bursts in black puffs, an aero-
plane drones, larks sing, and someone comes along
the trench clinking a petrol tin (now used for water).
And this is about all one sees as one stumps along the
communication-trenches, dry and crumbling and
chalky, with a dead mole lying about here and there.